The Blinn Buccaneers and Tyler Apaches traded touchdowns throughout the night Saturday, but in the end it was Tyler that came away with the 72-65 victory in both teams' Southwest Junior College Football Conference opener at Cub Stadium.
Tyler opened the game with a four-play touchdown drive, but the Buccaneers bounced back, scoring on a 32-yard fourth-down touchdown pass. Tyler then drove inside the 1-yard line, but the Buccaneer defense held firm, stopping them twice with less than a yard to go.
Quarterback Luke Klingler would go down in the end zone for a safety, and Tyler would score on its ensuing possession to take a 16-7 lead. Jake Hubenak then found Dede Westbrook on a 73-yard swing pass to make it 16-14 at the end of the first quarter.
The Apaches would tack on two more scores before Westbrook caught his second touchdown pass of the night, a 30-yard connection that cut Tyler's lead to 30-21.
The teams would trade touchdowns until the final seconds of the half, as the Buccaneers drove 75 yards, capping the drive with a touchdown pass to Darrion Landry in the corner of the end zone to make it 43-37 at halftime.
Tyler would pull away in the third quarter, scoring 21 unanswered points before Gaylon Sanders scored on a 21-yard touchdown run to make it 64-44 going into the fourth quarter.
The Bucs would score twice to cut Tyler's lead 64-58 with 9:11 remaining, but Tyler would answer once again, punching the ball in with 5:19 remaining to extend the lead to 70-58.
But the Buccaneers still wouldn't quit, forcing a Tyler fumble and cutting the final score to 72-65 with 2:28 left.
The Buccaneers are now 1-1 on the season and 0-1 in the SWJCFC after defeating Southeast Prep 77-6 in their season opener. The Bucs return to action Saturday when they travel to Miami, Okla. To play Northeastern Oklahoma A&M at 7 p.m.
About Blinn College
Founded in 1883, Blinn is a comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement. With an enrollment of 18,413 students, Blinn ranks among the nation's leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for its affordable educational excellence.
As part of its commitment to student success, Blinn is implementing a Quality Enhancement Plan titled "Destination Success: First-Year Focus," which utilizes learning communities to support first-year college students.
Registration is currently available for the Fall semester. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.